The 10 questions to ask a new client 

1 min readLast updated April 9, 2024by Unbiased team

These 10 questions for new clients will help you uncover crucial information about their financial situation and help you tailor personalized solutions.


  • Knowing what to ask a new client facilitates a deeper understanding of their financial concerns, priorities in life, and goals.

  • Starting with inquiring about your new client's well-being sets a positive tone and helps in identifying financial concerns.

  • Addressing your clients' money worries directly demonstrates your commitment to their financial well-being and allows you to offer practical solutions.

  • Evaluating the connection between your client's finances and life goals helps identify discrepancies and adjust strategies to achieve desired outcomes.

Why client onboarding questions are important.

As a financial advisor, successfully onboarding new clients is key to forming long-term relationships. Part of onboarding is getting to know your clients, their financial situation, their goals, and their plans for the future.

This list of 10 questions to ask new clients ensures that you cover all your bases upfront, that you know exactly what your clients want, and that you know how to help them achieve it.

1) How are things going in life?

Starting the conversation with a personal touch rather than impersonal client onboarding questions establishes rapport and trust and shows genuine interest in their life beyond finances. This sets a positive tone for the meeting and encourages open communication.

By asking about someone's life, you're opening the door to understanding their goals, financial concerns, fears, and aspirations. These are all critical factors in crafting a personalized financial plan.

2) What are your priorities in life at the moment?

Understanding your clients’ current priorities in life is essential for tailoring your financial advice. Whether it's buying a home, saving for their children's education, or planning for retirement, knowing their goals allows you to create a customized strategy aligning with their aspirations.

With your client's priorities in life in mind, you can focus your efforts on areas that matter most to them. This helps you provide more targeted advice and demonstrates your commitment to their unique needs and goals.

3) What are your biggest money worries, and how do you think I can solve them?

Addressing your client's money worries head-on demonstrates your commitment to their financial well-being. By listening to their worries and offering solutions, you show that you can help them navigate their financial challenges.

If you understand your client’s concerns, you're allowing them to express their fears and anxieties openly and can offer practical solutions, especially if they are worried about money.

4) Do your finances reflect your goals in life?

Ensuring that your client's financial decisions align with their life goals is critical. By evaluating the connection between their finances and aspirations, you can identify any discrepancies and make adjustments to put them on the right path.

Aligning finances with life goals is the cornerstone of financial planning. By asking this question, you're encouraging your client to reflect on whether their current financial strategy is helping them achieve what's most important to them, including if they're worried about retirement.

5) How far away are you from reaching your financial goals?

Tracking progress toward financial goals allows you to measure success and make informed decisions. One of your initial client meeting questions should cover your client’s proximity to their objectives. Based on their answer, you can identify any obstacles and offer guidance to keep them on track.

Reaching your financial goals is always meant to be achievable, so it's essential that you assess your client’s progress and make adjustments that will help them along the way. When you discuss goals, you prompt your client to evaluate their current financial situation and determine whether they're on track to meet them. 

6) How will you measure the success of your investment portfolio?

Setting clear expectations for investment performance helps manage your client's expectations. By understanding how they define success, you can effectively tailor your investment strategy to meet their needs and objectives.

Because priorities in life differ, investment success means different things to different people. By including this in your client onboarding questions, you're encouraging your clients to articulate their investment objectives and criteria for success. This leads to a more focused and targeted investment strategy that aligns with their goals and risk tolerance.

7) What would make you think our relationship was failing?

Open communication is key to maintaining a strong advisor-client relationship. When accepting new clients, you demonstrate your commitment to transparency and trust by addressing potential concerns upfront.

Maintaining a healthy advisor-client relationship requires ongoing communication and feedback. By inviting your client to express any concerns or issues, you have the space to address any misunderstandings or issues promptly, ensuring that your client feels heard and valued.

8) What advantages do your competitors have?

Understanding your clients' perceptions of competitors provides valuable insights into their preferences and expectations. By knowing about your competitors' advantages, you can identify opportunities to differentiate yourself and deliver exceptional value.

Competition is a fact of life in the financial services industry. By asking this question, you'll gain valuable insights into your clients' expectations and preferences. This will allow you to tailor your services to address their financial concerns and meet their needs effectively.

9) Do your beneficiaries know about your latest plans?

Effective estate planning is essential for securing your client's legacy. By ensuring that their beneficiaries are informed about their plans, you help protect their assets and provide for their loved ones according to their wishes.

You must prompt your client to consider whether their estate plans are current and whether their beneficiaries know their intentions. This can lead to important discussions about legacy planning and ensuring that loved ones are not left with money worries or complications involving their will or estate after their passing.

10) Is there anything else you want us to take into account?

Perhaps one of the most important questions to ask a new client is if you have answered all their questions! 

Fostering open dialogue demonstrates your commitment to providing personalized and comprehensive financial advice and ensures that your clients feel heard and understood. 

Asking this question shows that you value your client's input, understand all their financial concerns,  and want to ensure that their needs and priorities are fully addressed. 

Want to find new clients with Unbiased?

If you have your questions ready and are accepting new clients, Unbiased can help you build your business as a financial advisor.

Unbiased Pro will deliver potential clients straight to your inbox and give you the tools you need to convert leads into satisfied customers. 


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.